Vice President Joe Biden says paying higher taxes is patriotic. He must have forgotten that America was founded on a tax revolt.
While pitching the Obama administration's plan on Thursday to boost the burden on upper-income groups, Mr. Biden said, "Wealthy people are just as patriotic as middle-class people, as poor people, and they know they should be doing more." This skewed take on patriotism was quickly retweeted by the White House. The message fits with the shameful class-warfare appeals that claim tax hikes are needed to keep firefighters on the job or pay for Pell grants. More accurately, they're needed to underwrite $200,000 in stimulus money to move a shrub or to bankroll yet another failed "green energy" project.
"We're not supposed to have a system with one set of rules for the wealthy and one set of rules for everyone else," said Mr. Biden. Yet that's exactly what the White House wants. The administration's fiscal 2013 budget proposal included $2.1 trillion in new taxes over 10 years that are aimed at upper-income groups and those who rely on dividend income. The top 10 percent of income earners already pay about 50 percent of all federal, state and local taxes. The next 40 percent pay most of the rest, and the bottom half pay next to nothing. President Obama continually uses the word "fairness" to justify gobbling up more of the public's money, but if he were truly interested in being equitable he would seek ways to lower the overwhelming tax burden being carried by the middle class and above. Put another way, he would be talking about cutting his secretary's effective tax rate down to the 20 percent rate that he pays. That would be real patriotism.
Make no mistake - taxes are already rising. The Tax Foundation's Tax Freedom Day - the day on which Americans have worked enough to pay off their federal, state and local taxes and can begin working for themselves and their families - advanced four days in 2012 and now stands at April 17. This is not the worst it has ever been, as it fell on May 1 in the last year of Bill Clinton's presidency. Since Mr. Obama took office, the average American has had to devote an extra week to working for the government. By comparison, a taxpayer only had to labor 19 days total to pay off a year's worth of taxes 100 years ago.
No reasonable financial analysis demonstrates that raising taxes reduces budget deficits or restrains government spending. If anything, it creates less discipline, leading to runaway spending and higher deficits. Mr. Obama wants to feed Washington's addiction to red ink, and he demands that the wealthy provide the fix. The "Buffett Rule" would raise at best an additional $4-5 billion per year, while Mr. Obama's proposed $3.8 trillion 2013 budget adds almost a trillion dollars in public debt. If "millionaires" are the cause of America's economic woes, the main culprit is the current, wealthy occupant of the White House.
The Washington Times
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.